Councillor jailed after lying about address so he could run for office
Labour councillor, 51, is jailed for 17 months and ordered to pay £38,000 after lying to police that he lived in his constituency and getting tenant to back up his story
- Chaudhary Mohammed Iqbal sat on Redbridge council despite living in Barking
- The 51-year-old gave multiple false addresses in attempts to become councillor
- In the two years on the council, he claimed £18,000 in expenses and allowances
- Iqbal admitted three counts of making false statements in candidate nomination papers and one of perverting the course of justice. He was jailed for 17 months
A former Labour councillor who lied about his address so he could run in the local election has been jailed and banned from running for five years.
Chaudhary Mohammed Iqbal, 51, of Cecil Avenue, Barking, told officials he lived in Ilford so he could run for the Loxford seat on Redbridge Borough Council in 2018.
When police began to investigate, Iqbal encouraged his tenant Kristina Stankeviciute to lie on his behalf and tell officers that he lived in a converted living room at the Ilford property.
Former councillor Chaudhary Mohammed Iqbal has been jailed for 68 weeks after lying to officials to he could run for a seat on Redbridge Borough Council despite living in Barking
Miss Stankeviciute has since left the country and a European warrant for her arrest was issued in December last year.
Southwark Crown Court heard Iqbal had worked to become a councillor for more than a decade initially joining the Labour party in 2007 before defecting to the Conservatives to see if he would be more successful.
When that didn’t work, he re-joined the Labour party, giving multiple false addresses in his attempts to run for local office.
He successfully sat as a Labour councillor for more than two years, claiming more than £18,000 in expenses and allowances, before stepping down for what he claimed was health reasons in October 2020.
That same month, the former councillor pleaded guilty to three counts of making false statements in candidate nomination papers and one count of perverting the course of justice.
Iqbal, who has since moved to Preston, appeared at Southwark Crown Court earlier this month and was sentenced to a total of 17 months in prison.
During his time as a councillor, Iqbal claimed more than £18,000 in expenses and allowances from Redbridge Borough Council (pictured) which he has been ordered to pay back
Iqbal was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £10,422.54, compensation to Redbridge Council of £10,000 for the by-election costs and compensation to Redbridge Council of £18,368 for the allowances paid to him.
He was reminded of the requirements of a person convicted of a corrupt practice in relation to his current elected post and also the five year ban on holding elected office.
Detective Chief Inspector Sarah McConnell, of the Met’s Central Specialist Crime Command, said: ‘This is a significant sentence for this type of offence.
‘It reflects the seriousness with which the court viewed the wrongdoing in an electoral setting.’
MailOnline contacted Redbridge Borough Council and the Labour party for comment.
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